Growing adoption of cloud native architecture and multi-cloud services contributes to $3.8 million annual spend on fixing digital performance problems

Digital performance management company, Dynatrace, today announced the findings of an independent global survey of 249 CIOs in the financial services sector, which reveals that 75% of organizations think IT complexity could soon make it impossible to manage digital performance efficiently. The study further highlights that IT complexity is growing exponentially; a single web or mobile transaction now crosses an average of 38 different technology systems or components, compared to 26 just five years ago.

This growth has been driven by the rapid adoption of new technologies in recent years. However, the upward trend is set to accelerate, with 54% of finance CIOs planning to deploy even more technologies in the next 12 months. The research revealed the key technologies that CIOs in the financial services sector will have adopted within the next 12 months include multi-cloud (97%), microservices (90%) and containers (88%).

As a result of this mounting complexity, IT teams in financial services firms now spend an average of 30% of their time dealing with digital performance problems; costing their employers $3.8 million annually. As they search for a solution to these challenges, more than four in five (84%) of finance CIOs said they think Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be critical to IT’s ability to master increasing IT complexity; with 92% either already, or planning to deploy AI in the next 12 months.

“Financial services organizations are under huge pressure to keep-up with the always-on, always connected digital economy and its demand for constant innovation,” said Matthias Scharer, VP of Business Operations, Dynatrace. “Customer experience is the new battleground for financial services organizations, with both regulators and consumers driving innovation. As a consequence, IT ecosystems are undergoing a constant transformation. The transition to virtualized infrastructure was followed by the migration to the cloud, which has since been supplanted by the trend towards multi-cloud. CIOs have now realized their legacy apps weren’t built for today’s digital ecosystems and are rebuilding them in a cloud-native architecture. These rapid changes have given rise to hyper-scale, hyper-dynamic and hyper-complex IT ecosystems, which make it increasingly difficult to monitor digital performance and manage the user-experience effectively.”

The research further identified the challenges that financial services organizations find most difficult to overcome as they transition to multi-cloud ecosystems and cloud native architecture. Key findings include:

  • 76% of CIOs from financial services organizations say multi-cloud makes it especially difficult and time-consuming to monitor and understand the impact that cloud services have on the user-experience
  • 75% are frustrated that IT has to spend so much time setting-up monitoring for different cloud environments when deploying new services
  • 75% of finance CIOs say monitoring the performance of microservices in real-time is almost impossible
  • 80% of CIOs from financial services organizations say the dynamic nature of containers makes it difficult to understand their impact on application performance
  • Maintaining and configuring performance monitoring (56%) and identifying service dependencies and interactions (52%) are the top challenges finance CIOs identify with managing microservices and containers

“For cloud to deliver on expected benefits, financial services organizations must have end-to-end visibility across every single transaction,” continued Mr. Scharer. “However, this has become very difficult because they are building multi-cloud ecosystems on a variety of services from AWS, Azure, Cloud Foundry and SAP amongst others. Added to that, the shift to cloud native architectures fragments the application transaction path even further.

“Today, one environment can have billions of dependencies, so, while modern ecosystems are critical to fast financial services innovation, the legacy approach to monitoring and managing performance falls short. You can’t rely on humans to synthesize and analyze data anymore, nor a bag of independent tools. You need to be able to auto detect and instrument financial services IT environments in real time, and most importantly use AI to pinpoint problems with precision and set your environment on a path of auto-remediation to ensure optimal performance and experience from a customer’s perspective.”

Further to the challenges of managing a hyper-complex IT ecosystem, the research also found that IT departments within financial services organizations are struggling to keep pace with internal demands from the business. 76% of finance CIOs said that IT is under too much pressure to keep up with unrealistic demands from the business and end users. 79% also highlighted that it is getting harder to find time and resources to answer the range of questions the business asks and still deliver everything else that is expected of IT. In particular, 80% of CIOs from financial services organizations said it is difficult to map the technical metrics of digital performance to the impact they have on the business.

This research, commissioned by Dynatrace, is based on a global survey of 249 CIOs in financial services organizations with over 1,000 employees, conducted in August 2017 by Vanson Bourne.

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